In most cases, mild fatigue occurs with a health problem that will improve with home treatment and does not require a checkup with a doctor
A visit to a doctor usually is needed when fatigue occurs along with more serious symptoms, such as increased breathing problems, signs of a serious illness, abnormal bleeding, or unexplained weight loss or gain.
Fatigue that lasts longer than 2 weeks usually requires a visit to a doctor. This type of fatigue may be caused by a more serious health problem, such as:
- Anemia which is a decrease in the amount of hemoglobin found in red blood cells, a substance that carries oxygen.
- Heart problems that limit the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle or the rest of the body such as coronary artery disease or heart failure.
- Metabolic disorders, such as diabetes, in which sugar (glucose) remains in the blood rather than entering the body’s cells to be used for energy.
- Thyroid problems
- Hypothyroidism (decreased levels of thyroid hormones)
- fatigue, weakness, lethargy, weight gain, depression, memory problems, constipation, dry skin, intolerance to cold, coarse and thinning hair, brittle nails, or a yellowish tint to the skin
- Hyperthyroidism (increased levels of thyroid hormones)
- fatigue, weight loss, increased heart rate, intolerance to heat, sweating, irritability, anxiety, muscle weakness, and thyroid enlargement.
- Kidney disease and liver disease, which cause fatigue when the concentration of certain chemicals in the blood builds up to toxic levels.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome is an uncommon cause of severe, persistent fatigue.
If fatigue occurs without an apparent cause, mental health evaluation is important. Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression. Fatigue and depression may become so severe that some consider suicide as a means to escape the condition. If you think your fatigue may be caused by a mental health problem, consult your doctor.